As Victor DesPrez scrawled a written key for all the flavors in our “One of everything” box on an extra cardboard lid, we quietly stared at the round, orange logo imprinted on his cap. “Is it an Orange donut?” we asked. “It’s a stonemill that’s doubles as our logo.” he responded. Oliboli Donuts in Old Town Tustin is a storefront specializing in modern takes on a favorite pastry. Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day, their name is derived from Oliebol, a traditional Netherlands treat offered during winter holidays.
Pricing ranges from $3-$3.50, except for their Fry Bread. Thinner than their time-intensive, 40-hour yeast dough, fry bread takes on a flatbread-like base. We waited a few extra minutes for a fresh one, finished with ricotta and a slather of homemade apple jam. In other yeast donut news, our bakers dozen contained a Pistachio version made with pistachio praline paste for extra oomph. A Lavender Sugar donut utilized fragrant buds as well as dusted cane sugar. Their Cactus Pear is derived from a prickly plant with a little lime added. A traditional donut eater would be content with a Plain Glaze, thanks to its super light texture. We did catch a small sign promoting Opening Day specials such as Burnt Butter Bourbon Bacon (Try saying that a few times!). Their other special flavor du jour was a very simple, but indulgent Cocoa Pudding.
Coffee and tea are also well-represented here. An Astoria espresso machine is prominently displayed next to the register. The Conservatory Coffee provides those organic beans used in their lineup. We took a liking to the fragrant Rosemary Honey Latte. For tea service, Oliboli’s preferred brand is Leaves and Flowers. Ginger and citrus peel soothed our throat in the Tumeric Wellness blend.
When it comes to cake donuts, they utilize stone-milled spelt and kefir for a moist density. It’s very apparent in the Chocolate cake flavor, as it’s nearly brownie-like in taste. Our previously mentioned Orange donut houses fresh zest in both batter and glaze, giving a double zing of citrus. Spice is an unsung hero of the donut world, but it’s treated very well here with ginger, cinnamon and clove. The Bumbleberry (You read that correctly.) is a mix o’ raspberries, wild blueberries and marion blackberries. And then there’s Cherry, stuffed with ground Maraschino throughout. There is no shortage of flavor within these walls.
The family-run business that is run by Victor, Brooke, their daughter Haile and nephew Jon is another gem in the Tustin neighborhood. And since I know Brooke from a previous interview a handful of years ago, we’re confident in saying that these treats rival all other donut spots in OC in creativity and commitment to quality. And that’s all we have to say about that.
Oliboli Donuts is located at 153 W. First St., Ste. B, Tustin, (714) 760-4876; www.oliboli.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.